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How to communicate after a contentious divorce... Following a contentious divorce and custody battle, there are often high emotion and tensions between the parents. Research shows that constant and chronic conflict between the parents negatively impacts the children. The children sense their parents anxiety in their voice, their body language and their parents behavior. Here are some suggestions from Dean Stacer on how to avoid conflict.
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Author Topic: Ex has cut me off Facebook - Part 1  (Read 2584 times)
RomanticFool
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« on: June 29, 2018, 06:18:49 PM »

I guess this is ironic. After the relationship with my ex moving from limerence to alleged suicide attempt by her, to me taking all of the drama out of the situation and becoming ‘friends’ - she has now cut me off FB and ceased contact.

A week ago today, she announced she was visiting her son in my home town and she was coming down with her other son and husband. In the past this would have triggered a response from me about my disappointment that she couldn’t see me or annoyance at her for telling me. This time I simply said “Have a good day.” That was a week ago and there had been no further contact on either side and now it seems she has cut me off FB.

I guess I am not chasing her anymore and she doesn’t like it or she is bored... .or my usual thought that perhaps she has met somebody else. She was the one who always chastised me for putting pressure on to meet and now it seems in the absence of any chasing by me, she doesn’t like it. I am a bit confused but not surprised.

While I do feel like contacting her to ask why she has cut me off - having chastised me a thousand times in the past for doing likewise, she seems to be acting out. Perhaps she wants a reaction? I don’t feel like reacting angrily anymore. There is enough distance between us for me to think logically and without the onslaught of the usual emotional accompaniment.

I am a bit hurt though. This woman who has occupied so much of my heart and soul once again pushing me away for no good reason. I am glad to be out of the situation. I guess this is typical of a BPD if you aren’t chasing then they go from waif like victim to witch type aggressor. If she has done it for a reaction then it is sad as my usual mistake with her is to assume her behaviour is logical or reasonable. At least I know I’ve done nothing to provoke her this time.

I have had a lovely evening out with my wife tonight. I am largely without the emotional turbulence I experience with the ex and I don’t want to ruin my peace and serenity by chasing this femme fatale again. I will no longer give her the wherewithal to ensnare my heart and mind. But it hurts.
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« Reply #1 on: June 30, 2018, 03:49:51 AM »

Dear RF-
You know I know your painful history and your struggles with trying to detach from your ex.  I'm sorry that you're still hurting over this - especially around the Facebook issue, which has been an ongoing trigger for both of you.  My feeling, and correct me if I'm wrong, is that despite not seeing her for quite some time, is this Facebook connection allowed you to feel some "connection" to the goings on in her life.  I think the hurt for you lies in the fact that she didn't provide an explanation in advance, so it feels "aggressive" to you.  You feel you're being punished for something.  Whether it's for not pursuing her, or whatever.  We cannot know the answer.  And hopefully in a bit of time her reasons will NOT matter.  Please do your best not to ask.  Please do your best... .

And RF, I think you CAN see and feel that the more you detach, and the greater distance from the strong emotions around her, the better you've been feeling.  Of course you still feel lingering sadness and hurt.  You were tied into these feelings for her for so many years. 

And now, my friend, it's time to put them to rest.  I believe you know that.  Sometimes there are no actual "goodbyes".  We have to simply let things slip away silently - especially with people who have manipulated and controlled us for way too long.  I have said before, there is no healthy closure with a disordered mind.  I have tried my best and it has cost me dearly.

I am coming from a place of deep caring for you and empathy with how you're feeling.  I understand the perceived need to keep the "tie".  But it's okay to free yourself.  This time, and from now on, try to let go of guessing at her motivation.  It cannot matter anymore.  This is ONLY about what is best for you.  And freeing yourself, I believe, is best for you.  You don't need to say anything.  You don't need to ask her any questions.  You don't need to have the last word with her.  You already know... .I already know, sometimes additional effort just heightens the grief.

Warmly,
Gemsforeyes

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« Reply #2 on: June 30, 2018, 07:50:34 AM »

RF, I just want to extend some congratulations on being present enough in your evening with your wife to enjoy it and see the benefits of peace upon you.  You have come so far.  I also feel it would be good for you to heed the advice and wise counsel of Gemsforeyes in her reply above.  Acceptance is hard and you are mastering it.  This may well be a blessing that you will become grateful for on top of the other areas of your life you now acknowledge as positive in the absence of drama.  Let it be friend.  Make it work for you. 

Love and light x
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« Reply #3 on: June 30, 2018, 11:59:48 AM »

Hi Gems and Harley,

Unfortunately, I did not read this page before I acted. The feelings were taunting me again and I felt I had to act to quieten them. My indignation at her behaviour when I had tried to form a friendship with her simply hurt me too much to stay silent.

I asked her simply why she cut me off FB and she replied that she told me that she was coming to my home town with her family as she thought ‘honesty was the best policy’ and she interpreted my silence as punishment. I told her I had wished her a good day and then this last week I had become very busy with work doing 12 hour days all week and last night was a big night for me. I then told her I feel she has never been there for me and that she can now get her wish and do without me in her life. I have blocked her on WhatsApp and we are no longer FB friends.

That is exactly what you both  advised against and I wish I had just let her go silently, but enough is enough. I have given this woman every ounce of my emotional life. Whether you call it love, limerence or obsession it is based in abuse and I cannot allow it to continue. I haven’t seen her for nearly 17 months now and the weight of attachment is loosening. I WAS present last night with my wife and while there has been sadness this week that the ex didn’t wish me good luck for my work, I know she is not good for me. As you say Gems, there is no closure with a disordered mind.  

In conclusion, this is IT. The real ending of a 16 year r/s and there is no going back. I’ve never blocked her on WhatsApp before, she doesn’t usually cut me off FB. I’m not sure what she expected me to say or do the few days after she told me she was coming to my home town with her family. I’m not really going to pretend to be thrilled for her and she knows that I wouldn’t. Her statement about being honest troubles me because it suggests she hasn’t been honest in the past and in truth, I’ve never really trusted her because she doesn’t want the same sort of r/s I wanted. She dipped in and out when it suited and controlled things with ST and punishment when her disorder wasn’t tormenting both of us.

My guess is, this time around, she wanted some kind of affirmation about how wonderful she is for telling me. I get it. I just can’t do it anymore. I have learnt a lot about myself these last 17 months and it would be hard enough dealing with her mind and coping with her disorder if we were married, trying to conduct an affair with somebody who doesn’t even pretend to consider me is just insanity. I see it now. The flesh has been weak and the fantasy has been vivid but this woman is dangerous for my mental health. Just as I am probably dangerous for hers when emotions are engaged. I don’t think she will try to contact me again, I didn’t react with contrition and she will be furious at my retaliation. There would usually have been months of ST following such a tumultuous course of action on both sides. I considering blocking her phone number and email address. I feel it is time for true NC but with a very heavy heart. Turning my back on such a profound love/passion is very very very very hard.

I will continue to rebuild or more accurately, to build a r/s with my wife. She isn’t the most present, emotionally available, attentive person in the world but I do not doubt she has my best interests in her heart. We have history and mutual respect on our side and I am not yet ready to walk away from my marriage. However, I do feel my decision making is getting better and we will see what the future brings. I feel lighter and more optimistic than I have done in a while. Like I have taken control of my emotional life in a healthy way for once!

RF
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« Reply #4 on: June 30, 2018, 01:10:28 PM »

RF,

Congrats on the steps you have taken towards "emotional sobriety".  Yes... .even though you reached out and wished you hadn't... .I sense a clarity about the situation that wasn't there before.  Keep opening your eyes wider!  Keep thinking things through longer... .before taking action.

 Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)


I guess I am not chasing her anymore and she doesn’t like it or she is bored... .or my usual thought that perhaps she has met somebody else.  


Perhaps using this "axiom" or "rule" might help you evaluate future situations like this... .with anyone really.

If someone "announces" through actions or words... or both that they aren't ready or able to talk to you... .why not take them at their word and move on with your life?

In this situation, my guess is she would have waited for some amount of time and reached out.

Listen... I'm a "recovering overthinker".  Being in a r/s with a pwBPD can lead you to try and figure out "why" they do things (and a certain amount of thought about this is healthy... no doubt).  

Do you think you can "try on" resisting overthinking and take things at face value for a  while?

Thoughts?

Best to you!

FF
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« Reply #5 on: June 30, 2018, 01:51:03 PM »

Dear RF-
I'm on my way out now, but wanted to touch base briefly.  I can feel the frustration, and almost disappointment in yourself.  It's okay.  Please forgive yourself and try not to beat yourself up over reacting and not staying silent.  You'll get there and you've made so much progress.  We'll talk later.

Warmly,
Gemsforeyes
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« Reply #6 on: June 30, 2018, 02:10:14 PM »

What are realistic expectations of a duel affair after it is over... .to be friends?  I don't think you are or were ever friends... .you were clandestine lovers. When it was good, it was good. But like old flower arrangement, clandestine relationship don't die gracefully.

Excerpt
What now? I am like the alcoholic who has stopped drinking but must now find a new way of living. I must find a way to exist without living in a damaging fantasy world (with the hope still alive) of being with a woman  ~ RomanticFool

You might just want to celebrate its life, like one does as a funeral, and then place earth on the casket. Give her a good memory of you. Frame in your own mind a good memory of her. Let that be the ending to this chapter in your life.

End the push and pull.
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« Reply #7 on: June 30, 2018, 04:04:03 PM »

How do I truly end the push and pull?
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« Reply #8 on: June 30, 2018, 04:37:38 PM »

Excerpt
I feel it is time for true NC but with a very heavy heart.

I hear how hard this feels. 

What does "true NC" look like for you?  What do you have to do to implement?
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« Reply #9 on: June 30, 2018, 05:18:39 PM »

True NC means blocking every channel of communication and never replying to any message she ever manages to get through if she finds a way. I don’t have BPD and so to me that feels heartless and cruel. But that is precisely how she has behaved towards me for years. Constant ST, pulling away, disrespecting me, dipping in and out when it suits. Taking too much interest in my wife’s FB activity, controlling, monitoring, abusing and always pushing me away. I’m sick of it. Time to be cruel to be kind to myself. I hate it, it feels heartless disloyal and I care what happens to her but she will never change and never care about how I feel. I can’t do this anymore.
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« Reply #10 on: June 30, 2018, 09:46:52 PM »

I have minimal contact with my exuBPDw I can relate with struggling with the idea of cutting communication with her because of our history together I mean how can two people be so close end up not talking to each other? She has a serious mental illness going minimal contact gave me take to reconstruct and take care of myself.

You mention reconstructing yourself and repairing the r/s with your wife focus on taking care of yourself. It send the message that your behaviour is not acceptable how long are you supposed to tolerate her bad behaviour towards you?

I think that being pushed away in the end was the best thing for me because I got off the emotional rollercoaster and instead of focusing on someone else’s needs I focused on my own. If enough people that are close to my exuBPDw go NC maybe that will make her take a hard look at herself and be the catalyst for her to get help for her mental illness.
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« Reply #11 on: June 30, 2018, 11:55:31 PM »

Yes, setting boundaries is something I’ve oscillated around over the years because I couldn’t stand not being in contact. I have cut her off FB many times in the past because I wanted to show her that her behaviour was unacceptable. I stopped doing it a while ago and tried to keep things cordial as a signal that the nature of the r/s was changing. However, for her to do it in an unprovoked way just makes a mockery of any attempts to have a healthy r/s. Cutting her off WhatsApp and blocking all avenues of contact will hurt us both but I am no longer going to accept abuse.
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« Reply #12 on: July 01, 2018, 12:07:20 AM »

I think that it’s a good choice RomanticFool and it’s a hard one but you have support here. It’s not s hard and fast rule I can understand that you need to cut off all avenues today and it’s your choice to keep it that way for the long term but it doesn’t have to be forever. You need more time behind you one day you might feel like this is behind you and she no longer bothers you to a point where you don’t have to have NC.

My point is I know that the thought of doing this is hard and maybe you’re thinking that it’s permanent the way that you feel today is going to be different 1 or 3 or 5 years from now. Shift the focus away from her needs because she can’t give you what you need and focus on you.
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« Reply #13 on: July 01, 2018, 02:29:04 AM »

Gonna chime in and kindly express what I feel may be missing thus far... .

Experiencing the grief.
Grieving the loss.
Feeling the pain and sadness to not have what one had hoped for.

Sometimes sitting with the sadness, imo, can feel like the end of the world.
Yet, sitting with it... .
May be exactly what is needed, even tho the sense of it may feel in itself, traumatic.
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« Reply #14 on: July 01, 2018, 07:17:57 AM »

Hi Sunfl0wer,

This is very interesting to me because I feel that I’ve done nothing but sit with sadness around the ex. The sadness of never being with her has haunted me for years. Yet I kept letting her back in or reaching out to her for more, in the forlorn hope that something will change. Nothing has changed except the r/s was intense and I tried everything I could to keep it going. I no longer want to sit with sadness. I want to sit with happiness and joy and peace of mind. I have been addicted to melancholia, to sad songs, to reverie, to thwarted hope, to disorder, to abuse, to her manipulation. I no longer want it. I tried very hard to maintain a fair and healthy r/s with her and she has pressed the ‘nuke’ button on a suspicion for which she was incorrect. I wasn’t ignoring her this week, I was simply busy. But the fact she is prepared to carry on this type of hurtful behaviour when we haven’t seen each other for 17 months and I have been very affirming and understanding towards her just illustrates that despite us both being in AA she is not going to change her behaviour. It is all about her needs and mine are completely irrelevant to her. I no longer want poison in my life. I want my wife, who is kind, caring and interested in me. If I keep following my ex she will destroy me and probably herself with it. We were both in a very bad place last year. I now want the good place. With my wife and my serenity in tact. I’ve had enough of dysfunction. Mine and hers.
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« Reply #15 on: July 01, 2018, 08:33:19 AM »

I think I understand what Sunflower meant... .and I think you missed it.

Sunflower... please correct if I missed your point.

Grieving is (in my opinion) about what you have lost, not what you have never had.  (offhand I would call that "yearning"... perhaps others can find a better word)


  The sadness of never being with her has haunted me for years. Y


RF... .can you focus on what you DID share with the Other Woman?  You obviously found some things attractive.  And... .all relationships have hopes and dreams that go undone.  Sure... .some r/s have less and others have more.

Can you focus on the experiences you had and that you obviously miss?  Sit with that a while.

Said another way:  Much of your posts (to me) seem like "I was almost there" or "almost to the end of the journey" with the OW... .and if you just reached out one more time or crafted a well worded reply... .it would push you over the line.  

Can you shift your thinking and grieving to what you actually had?

FF
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« Reply #16 on: July 01, 2018, 09:02:58 AM »

Hi RomanticFool,

Excerpt
I want to sit with happiness and joy and peace of mind. I have been addicted to melancholia, to sad songs, to reverie, to thwarted hope, to disorder, to abuse, to her manipulation. I no longer want it

Excerpt
I’ve had enough of dysfunction. Mine and hers.

You want change. I completely understand. Seize this opportunity and do it.
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« Reply #17 on: July 01, 2018, 12:49:19 PM »

Formflier,

I didn’t miss her point at all. My answer to sitting with grief is that I feel I have already done that. In a sense I have moved on because I’ve been grieving the r/s for years. There was very little I actually had with her that was fulfilling in anyway except for some wonderful nights of passion and a head full of fantasy about how this beautiful woman could be mine. She never was and never wanted to be mine. That is the truth that I am facing up to, so rather than avoiding grief, I am transitioning out of the grief stage into the change that Mutt has mentioned.

I’m doing a piece of work at the moment where the issue of wasting time in life is a running theme. I have allowed many years of my own life to be spent yearning after somebody who was never going to be available to me but kept me hanging on just enough to get her ‘supply’ when she needed it. I have been a fool, a romantic fool. I knew it back then and I am now finally taking the action to change. I don’t want to waste another day in sadness and grief.
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« Reply #18 on: July 01, 2018, 01:07:35 PM »

You might just want to celebrate its life, like one does as a funeral, and then place earth on the casket. Give her a good memory of you. Frame in your own mind a good memory of her. Let that be the ending to this chapter in your life.

End the push and pull.

RM, you kinda blew by my suggestion to celebrate.

My ex was a magical person. She really was. She loved deep and hard and when that was on the upswing it was great. When in was in limbo (where you have been for a long time), it was frustrating. I tried to make it work, but my emotional IQ was average at best, hers were impaired, and we couldn't make it work. It was 4.5 years.

I think fondly of the good times. I let go of any resentment and my wounds. She is married now and I'm proud of her for settling down with a good man. It was a colorful chapter in my life... .one with some great memories.

Everything in life has a self-life. We all lose what we love. We can live in the loss or celebrate the gain.

Our choice.
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« Reply #19 on: July 01, 2018, 01:12:52 PM »

I didn’t miss her point at all. My answer to sitting with grief is that I feel I have already done that. 

Hmmm... .have you sat with the grief about what you had and lost>

Or... .was your grief about "what you came close to"?

It's clear in your writing (to me anyway)... that you are and possibly "have" (as in put it behind you) dealt with what you "thought it could be"

.I'm not seeing much if anything about what you actually had.

Do you see nuance there?  What are your thoughts about what you actually had?  What are your feelings about that?

FF
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« Reply #20 on: July 01, 2018, 02:59:53 PM »

(Always happy to have my thoughts expanded on... .cause I can seem too brash at times so gotta truncate my darn output, srry)

We cannot grieve a relationship or a loss... .
When we are also clinging desperately onto
Hope/renewal

One must FIRST accept LOSS.
... .Irrevocably

Have you radically accepted that the ex is no longer something you will ever want to pursue again for the rest of your life?  Have you completely shut that door?

Think of a couple whose child has been kidnapped a year ago.
They are still, understandably, frantically clinging to hope that one day their little boy will be recovered... .and reunited to them.

Now turn your thoughts to think of how different it would be to grieve this type of loss compared to the parents... .
... .whose son was shot instantly and they have a body to bury... .friends to gather round and pay respects and talk to about their loss, etc.
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« Reply #21 on: July 01, 2018, 03:12:35 PM »

Fyi... .
Ruminating and staying stuck in sad thoughts... .
Is not the same as grieving.

This is where lessons roun here help.  Some members find working with the tools and lessons... .helps one ... just sayin.

FF got it right tho... .Missing what you will never have/yet long for... .IS different than acceptance of who you and she were, and grieving what you actually lost.

The difference is radical acceptance.

You are grieving the magical thinking.

You are missing the RA.

Once you find RA... .
Only THEN can you begin to grieve the loss of this woman and what she meant to you and your life.

It will not be an event.  It is a process.  There are many aspects of this experience to grieve.  Many layers.  One first must put down the magical thinking tho... .or you will remain stuck forever longing for what is not even real.

... .I learned all this via members guiding me AND doing the work on the right side of this darn site :P

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« Reply #22 on: July 01, 2018, 03:39:57 PM »

Hi Sunflower and thanks, insightful stuff.

I agree with you, I had to come to that stage, even during my NC I still hadnt completely discounted that i would see her again and I think your right, I couldnt get over it, still a lot of ruminating.

Now that I finally decided to move on, i feel already a huge burden removed. There is also anxiety linked to keeping the door open, whilst on on the one hand hoping to have more good times, there is the memory of the drama. Once acceptance that no longer going to open the possibility of encountering either again, I feel I can distance myself away and see the relationship for what it was, rather than ruminate.
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« Reply #23 on: July 01, 2018, 08:11:36 PM »

Sometimes I feel “outing” myself may help folks grasp where I am coming from as often my message may otherwise be heard more harshly/or less easily digestible... .

I post here, and in general speak on such topics... .because I also am processing my own grief.

My own grief is tied into loss.  Loss of my birth mom, my foster mom, magical thinking hope of recieving love as a child.  My hopes for love... .have been transferred onto my lovers.

I am “slow”to process grief, and frankly any emotion, .  Sadness tho is a struggle for me as I fear I can get trapped in it forever and forget my skills to toggle outta it.  It scares me. Smiling (click to insert in post)
My own dissociative disorder means that my healing journey happens in fragments of general forward movements... . bumps and backslides, but continuous forward momentum.

I am personally less inclined than someone else to remain trapped in my sadness.  I am no better than anyone tho... .just that I am MORE inclined to dissociate away from my sadness... .get distrated in work, or other functions in life and may easily “forget” and leave sadness behind.

So... .just outing my bias and where they begin and end.
I see the issue of being trapped in ones sadness... .maybe an opposite issue of my own.

However, maybe the way one would work this puzzle out is where the two diverge?

What I mean... .I am thinking out loud here now... .
Is... .what is RF grieving?
Is he in fact effectively grieving the loss of this woman?
Are his very behaviors outside of this forum and also within it... .assisting him to grieve?

Why would he be trapped in grief?

... .just thinking out loud here Smiling (click to insert in post)
(If ya tell me I’m too “hijacky” ... .am happy to back off... .am trying to be productive tho)
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« Reply #24 on: July 01, 2018, 09:57:33 PM »


It will not be an event.  It is a process.  


And does it ever really end?  Perhaps the character of the loss changes over time.

I can remember when I was younger and things happen that were sad or there was a loss... that I needed to "do" something to honor that and then move on.  I think I was erroneous in thinking that it was over... or could be over.

I've noticed that I "bump into" those losses now, many times unintentionally,  when memories come up that are "close" or in some other way associated with a bit loss.  Now I seem to pause... .appreciate what I miss or enjoyed about a person... and then move on.

FF
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« Reply #25 on: July 02, 2018, 03:42:27 AM »

Thank you all for your input. I respect and am grateful for your advice. However, I need to be honest with you all: I am angry. I’m angry at her, I’m angry that I have to come on here and bare my soul and be corrected about how I feel or how to deal with the situation.  I don’t feel much like eulogising or ruminating or grieving what we had or didn’t have. This woman took me to the brink of self destruction. I see that now. She kept back and forth into my life lying, manipulating and deceiving me when she knew full well that she was never going to be available to me. What I really feel towards her right now is disdainful disrespect. I have allowed her disordered way of doing things to affect my life in a very negative and damaging way. I feel like I have woken up from a long slumber.

You all know what she meant to me. However, at this point in time I feel it was of no value whatsoever because it was predicated on a lie. The lie that there was some kind of long-lasting r/s in there. It has never been a r/s. It has been a ‘supply’ for her BPD needs. That is all I have been to her. She was my North, My South, My East and West... .which is why I am a fool.  I was lost in a fantasy world. The harsh reality is that she was and still is nothing more than a ghost. A promise of something that could never be delivered. So I can grieve her all I want but the fact of the matter is she has never been there. It’s like Westworld. I’ve woken up from what I thought was a lovely dream but was in fact a nightmare.
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« Reply #26 on: July 02, 2018, 04:17:19 AM »

RF, anger is GOOD.  It means you are grieving.  This is but one stage in your journey forwards my friend.

Excerpt
How grief passes through us: The Five Stages of Grieving

Denial- This is when we and our partner are on different page about our commitments to the relationship. This stage is filled with disbelief and denial.  Often in this stage we are engaged in relationship struggles and are expecting our partner to respond in the way that someone in a relationship would respond. However, they are in a very different, less caring place.  We are confused, hurt, put off by their behavior.

Anger- Anger often the reaction to being hurt and/or fearful, and helpless to do anything about it. The greater the loss, the greater the reaction. Anger is a very complex part of grieving - many of us stumble in this stage with either unhealthy anger (misdirected, trapping) or no anger (no release).  We need to determine why we're angry and focus our feeling on the true issues - if not, anger can imprison us.

Bargaining- Bargaining is that stage of the break-up when you’re trying to make deals and compromises. It’s when you start talking about how an open relationship might be a possibility or a long-distance thing could work. It’s when you say to your partner, “if you just did this then I could do that and it would work”. It’s when you say to yourself that you’ll do x, y, z to be a better spouse so that the relationship doesn’t have to end.

Depression- After all of the denial and the anger and the bargaining have been done and we realize that things really are starting to end and we become depressed. We fell helpless and powerless and overwhelmed with sadness about the loss that we are experiencing.  This acknowledgment often starts the serious process of us trying to understand what happened.

Acceptance- Acceptance is a final stage when we have finally sorted out what happened, accepted it and are more interested in moving forward than looking back. Acceptance can take a lot of time and a lot of processing. It involves understanding the situation, understand our role / understand their role, understanding what can be learned, and letting go / moving forward. 

Note: Each person mourns a loss differently.  You may not experience these stages in one fluid order. You may go through some of the stages more than once. Sometimes during the bargaining stages we recycle the relationship. Or an event will trigger us to experience one of these stages again - like hearing your ex-partner is to remarry.


Be with the anger.  Process it.  Post about it.  We're listening.

Love and light x
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« Reply #27 on: July 02, 2018, 04:22:28 AM »

I also want to add, that the thing that has finally tipped the scales, is that I haven't seen her for 17 months and her way of doing things is to still push me away. This time when I have done nothing. She has been a counsellor for a suicide prevention charity for a number of years, we are both in AA and she has just completed a psychology course aimed at becoming a professional counsellor. She really should know better. I don't care if she has BPD or BPD traits or whatever, with all of the knowledge and insight she has one would hope there would be a shift in her behaviour. Absolutely nothing. She is behaving no differently from how she did when we met 16 years ago.

I have been an a-hole to her at times, I admit it. But in this last year I have tried really very hard to change, to make things easier in her world or at least not to be an irritant or a trigger to her. I haven't pushed her to meet or pestered her about any aspect of her life. I have tried to stopped doing the pushing away thing myself because we were stuck in a loop of despair. From her I see no change at all. This is what I find the most perplexing part of the whole saga. She is not an unintelligent woman. Even if she cannot always stop acting on her impulses one would have thought she would at least have some kind of awareness around them, and at least acknowledge that her behaviour is not right. But, as is typical with disordered people, there is no light, no acceptance, no responsibility for anything but just self-justifying blame. This goes way beyond any r/s we have or haven't had. It now comes down to human decency. If she does not want to value another human being then she can be on her own. That, in a sentence, encompasses the tragedy of a disordered mind: They will always push away those who love them. She even knows it herself. She used those exact words to me a few years ago when she came out of rehab. Now, it is not good enough for me that she uses her BPD as an excuse. She needs to start doing something about it. We both know she won't.
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« Reply #28 on: July 02, 2018, 04:31:52 AM »

Thanks Harley,

I have been processing anger ever since I met her. I remember the first time we slept together, I was in a daze of confusion because the very next day she pulled away. I thought I had met an interesting but flawed woman who could become something important in my life. She didn't return my texts for a few days and then was monosyllabic and curt. In those days I wouldn't put up with it and just went about my business. I didn't allow her to get a hold of me as she has now, in the first phase of the r/s because I was too streetwise.

I am specifically angry that she tracked me down years later, after I had the good sense to let her go from my life, and told me she had changed and had always cared about me. That is specifically the source of my anger. I am also angry at myself for letting her in. It was all because I wanted to sleep with her and look what it has all led to. I have always known I had an obsessive mind and I had previous history to suggest that if I slept with her her I would become fatally attached. That is precisely what happened and 6 years of my life has been lost to limerence and reverie. It is not fair on me or my wife - ultimately the ex has suffered too.
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« Reply #29 on: July 02, 2018, 06:20:52 AM »

One final thing on the nature of loss and grief: This is a subject I know a lot about, since I lost one of my brothers when I was 22. He died of epilepsy at the age of 17. That is a grief that shook me to my core and which I have processed over the years and still affects me with its sadness. I dealt with it and have wonderful memories of my brother. My mother died round about the time that I met the ex and I dealt with her loss in the same way that I dealt with my brother’s. I grieved and processed it and I have wonderful memories.

The ex is something else. How can I grieve for what has hurt me so much? I had a few wonderful stolen days of pleasure. The rest of the time I’ve been dealing with her indifference, criticism, lack of care, unreliability, passive aggression, abandonment of me. How does one see the good among all that pain and suffering?

The real question is why have I been so fixated on her for so long? She is an ideal woman, a trophy wife physically, a woman I admire in terms of her job and the way she takes care of herself physically... .but the rest is a dark chasm of disorder.
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« Reply #30 on: July 02, 2018, 09:26:36 AM »

True NC means blocking every channel of communication and never replying to any message she ever manages to get through if she finds a way. I don’t have BPD and so to me that feels heartless and cruel. But that is precisely how she has behaved towards me for years. Constant ST, pulling away, disrespecting me, dipping in and out when it suits. Taking too much interest in my wife’s FB activity, controlling, monitoring, abusing and always pushing me away. I’m sick of it. Time to be cruel to be kind to myself. I hate it, it feels heartless disloyal and I care what happens to her but she will never change and never care about how I feel. I can’t do this anymore.

Sometimes you have to play at the same level as the person. There is little point showing kindness/manners/politeness when faced with disrespect. Respect has to be earned. I dont see your choice in the circumstances as heartless, cruel or disloyal.
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« Reply #31 on: July 02, 2018, 10:55:37 AM »

Thanks Cromwell,

I’m trying not to be, but equally I am making it clear that hurting me whenever she feels like it is no longer something I will accept. I think she probably did it as a way of getting me to react or as punishment for not talking to her during the week, but I was busy as hell. This is the ultimate irony, she can be as aloof and distant as she likes but if I’m busy when she wants my attention then I get punished. That is abuse in my book.

She will justify it and say that I have cut her off FB numerous times but whenever I have done it there has usually been an event in which she has hurt me. I suppose she is doing much the same thing except I did nothing to hurt her. I was simply busy.

I can feel my stance softening today. I want to unblock her on WhatsApp and metaphorically go running back into her arms. But that’s the point, there is no warmth from her. Just punishment and passive aggression. I used to believe that she always felt th same way I did and was also longing to end any argument or feud, but I now believe she doesn’t give it much thought until such time as she has a need for her ‘supply’ of affirmation. Then she’ll become the waif again, the damsel in distress and try to get me to change me running. I would say with a pout or a flick of her eyes, but the flip side is that she could just as easily flip into despair and then it becomes dangerous for herself. I don’t want that for her... .Can you hear me softening? Round the Mulberry Bush we go!
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« Reply #32 on: July 02, 2018, 11:06:50 AM »

RM,

You have come to understand that relationship was a fantasy. Be careful. Don't let the breakup also become a fantasy.  Ground yourself. And when you lose perspective, seek it and ground yourself again.

You all know what she meant to me. However, at this point in time I feel it was of no value whatsoever because it was predicated on a lie. The lie that there was some kind of long-lasting r/s in there. It has never been a r/s. It has been a ‘supply’ for her BPD needs. That is all I have been to her. She was my North, My South, My East and West... .which is why I am a fool.

Remind yourself. The biggest lie has been to her husband and your wife who have been deceived for a decade.

Remind yourself that this was never a relationship - it was an escape from your relationships.

Remind yourself that the conflict in this relationship was largely around your fantasy wants and her fantasy wants conflicting. She wanted validation when she hit rough patches in her real world. You likes the sex (and the intimacy, and the romance). You both treated each other very poorly - inflicted pain on each other to get your way (or her way). There was very little respect. People who love each other treat each other with love.

Remind yourself  that she lived everyday of the last 10 years with a family that she cooked for and helped the kids in school - the family that served her breakfast on mothers days or sat in their pajamas on Christmas morning and watched their favorite holiday tradition movies.

I know this hurts. It's a real and tangible loss for you. You had this affair for a long time and its part of your fabric, your being, your thought process. We're here to help you with this.

Don't fantasize the reality - get in touch with it. Don't cast yourself as the victim - you both damaged your innocent spouses in all of this - there was no nobility here.  Being free of this very important to your future mental health, financial stability, and stability and your marriage. One "tell all" phone call could crash your or her life.

Lean into the reality.
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« Reply #33 on: July 02, 2018, 11:42:24 AM »

Skip,

Let me clarify the lie to which I am referring. I did not cheat on my wife for 10 years. In all of the emotion the timeline gets confused. Let me remind you:

16 years ago I was single and looking for love. I went on a dating website where I met my ex and she claimed to be single. She went on video cam so we could see each other and told me she was at work - she was - working at home with her husband sitting about 3 feet away out of shot. She told me she was single. That is the lie I am really referring to. She waited until we had slept together and I was hooked before telling me the truth. That same night she invited me back to her house. I sensibly declined. I have asked her a thousand times subsequently why she did that. She has never had an answer. I have often suspected it was revenge at her husband for cheating on her. That is the reality of how it started. She told me at the time that her marriage was in a bad place. That is not my fantasy, that is what actually happened. That was Phase 1 of the r/s and lasted less than 2 years because I could not cope with her behaviour and it was clear that she had no intention of leaving her husband. He had also contracted cancer and I bowed out.

The next time I saw her was 8 years later. There was a gap of 8 years. She tracked me down and asked to meet me. As I had just got married, albeit in a sexless r/s, I felt safe and met up with her more out of curiosity rather than any conscious desire to rekindle a r/s. Since I knew her husband had been ill all those years ago, I assumed he had died.

When we met she love bombed me. Told me how she had always thought about me and was in love with me. I told her I had just got married and showed her my wedding photos and she burst into tears. She regretted not being able to express how she felt about me in the past. I asked about her husband and when she revealed he was still alive, I was confused and asked her why she wanted to meet up. She said, she had always thought about me and that she was going to make changes in her life. I walked away sceptical, guarded but smitten.

What followed was cheating on my wife and for that I hold my hands up and take full responsibility. But the facts of the matter are, she lied and manipulated all along. When we first reconnected I kept saying I didn’t want an affair. She begged me to call her in Vegas, where she was with her husband and was in tears. I asked her what was wrong and she said she wanted me to tell her that I loved her... .

I am reminded of the line from Othello, ‘Demand of this demi-devil why he has ensnared my body and soul thus.’

Yes, I cheated on my wife. Yes, I am responsible for that. But don’t think that I am not a victim of her disorder because I am afraid that I am. It is now up to me to mitigate that damage and make amends to my wife by being faithful.
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« Reply #34 on: July 02, 2018, 12:04:45 PM »

The lying that she was single in 2002 was bad - she shouldn't have done that. That is on her.

You all know what she meant to me. However, at this point in time I feel it was of no value whatsoever because it was predicated on a lie. The lie that there was some kind of long-lasting r/s in there. It has never been a r/s.

Aren't you talking about the time period 2009 - 2108 (approximately). You were married then. You knew she was married. You had eight years of separation and a marriage to heal.

Is it realistic to tag the reuniting on her and as a lie.

There are victims, survivors, and thrivors.  Who do you identify with?

Again, we all understand the pain. Your emotions are real. Be careful not to use the emotions to cast an alternative reality that has you as the victim in the center, unless it is absolutely true.

Narrow the wound to what it is. The reality, is painful. Don't add to it.

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« Reply #35 on: July 02, 2018, 12:16:44 PM »

Excerpt
This woman took me to the brink of self destruction. I see that now. She kept back and forth into my life lying, manipulating and deceiving me when she knew full well that she was never going to be available to me. What I really feel towards her right now is disdainful disrespect. I have allowed her disordered way of doing things to affect my life in a very negative and damaging way. I feel like I have woken up from a long slumber.

I wonder how your outlook and current emotional state would shift if... .

If you held in your mind the version of her that is a liar... .
Alongside the version of her where you had an amazing and wonderful, and irreplacable connection.

Can you see these two concepts sitting side by side?

Fyi... .I in no way at all doubt any of your reality.  (Believing that could take trust... .and I’m no easier to trust than any other internet stranger here I suppose.)
Just probing to see how you can shift in your own mind.  
You seem to “toggle” from one reality to another.
What would happen if realities merged a wee?
How painful is that?

How painful is it for you to be both aware that you two shared something wonderful and magnificent AND very much REAL... .
AND... .she lied to you.

Can you hold those ideas in your head together?

(That is the grief I was trying to get to.  Being cool (click to insert in post)
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« Reply #36 on: July 02, 2018, 12:58:11 PM »

Dear RF-
Why go 'round the mulberry bush?  Whose best interests does that serve - yours? Your ex's? Your W's? Her H's?

You know that saying... ."keep your head where your heels are". - it seems to apply so well in your situation.  It makes no matter anymore who lied when over the course of these years.  It doesn't matter anymore that the initial love bombing was predicated on a lie - that she was single and available when she was not.  Today is today, not 16 years ago.

This relationship has tortured you.  It has caused you so much pain, sadness and internal conflict.  Where is the joy in that?  This does not seem to have brought you an "escape" from married life.  Ever.  It seems your W had no involvement in this external relationship at all.  This relationship seems to have caused more pain for you than joy - pretty much from the onset.  You never understood why, if she was so unhappy in her marriage and so in love with you, that she didn't leave.  She will never leave.  So you have to leave.  In every way.

We all have memories we need to box up and put away.  Memories of perhaps our greatest loves, that simply weren't to be, for whatever reason.  And some of those reasons are incredibly painful.  But we have the strength to do it.  I had the strength to do it.  And you do, too.  I know you do, RF.

You don't need these childish Facebook or WhatsApp or phone or email games any longer.  You control this contact.  You control YOUR actions.  How do YOU want to feel from today on?  Tell me.

Warmly,
Gemsforeyes
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« Reply #37 on: July 02, 2018, 04:20:14 PM »

“Aren't you talking about the time period 2009 - 2108 (approximately). You were married then. You knew she was married. You had eight years of separation and a marriage to heal.”

The original lie is like an inciting incident in a film. Everything else sprung out of that and set the saga in motion. There are all kinds of implications in it. I was at a time in my life when I wanted to stop drinking and in fact did so not long after our first night together. I had already lost a brother, my mother was dying and I had been embroiled in another long-winded break up from a previous r/s due to poor behaviour on my part. I am not assuaging myself of blame. I think what fuels my indignation is had I met a better suited partner at that point in my life it may have changed the whole course of my life for the better. I went on the dating site wanting to start afresh having dealt with a lot of emotional wreckage and I met this Goddess, who frankly could have had her pick of any man on there, and she zoned in on me. It takes two to tango and all that but she knew exactly what she was doing and was drawn to me partly because of what I do for a living, but also probably because our emotional lives were similar. Had she been honest with me at that point, everything could have been different. What I am angry about is by reeling me in back then and keeping me dangling on the hook, I never had a chance with anybody else. Then she pulled the same stunt 8 years later.

Now, I have major responsibility in this too. It’s not all her fault and my own morality was impaired, but getting involved with her made it ten times worse. The attachment created limerence and obsession and she knew it from day one and enjoyed it.

I am very much a thrivor. I will get over it and I’ll be wiser for it but I am not going to pretend that the r/s has not profoundly damaged me because it has. It has taken away time. I would be free of her now and gone through the pain last year but you all know how that played out. She realised I was serious about ending the push/pull and she made/claimed a suicide attempt.

So the past does matter. We are often shaped by it. I don’t regret meeting her, I regret the fact that she lied and manipulated in order to keep me attached. She gave just enough of herself to me to keep me interested. I know it is her disorder at work but she has a lot of advantages in life and awareness of her mental health and has made no attempt whatsoever to change her behaviour, specifically in this r/s because she simply doesn’t want to. That is what I am really upset about. I see it as a lack of respect towards me.
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« Reply #38 on: July 02, 2018, 04:42:17 PM »

I don’t want to go round the Mulberry Bush believe me Gems. I want to wake up tomorrow and be free of her, but I am bewitched by her. She is my love heroin. I only have to set eyes on her and I am lost. Nobody in my entire life has ever had that effect on me and had we both been sane and single it would have been a wonderful basis to start from. I find her fascinating as a person and enjoyed art galleries, cinema, discussions about art, psychology, mental health, sport etc. She fascinates me. I guess deep down I simply feel horribly betrayed and rejected and can’t quite understand how it got to this. I don’t know if part of it is ego ie how can she reject the great ME? How can she not see my good heart, my loving character, my wit and wisdom. It’s like I’m living in constant denial and then anger and then nostalgia for what we had. It’s been a loop like that for years. It isn’t just to do with physical attraction but, my God, that is a big part of it. I think it stays alive in my head because it was everything I don’t have now.

I could easily have talked her around from cutting me off FB. I could have told her I was hurt and said how much I’d missed her but I am simply outraged that nothing ever changes. I don’t want this loneliness anymore. I don’t want to be her victim.
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« Reply #39 on: July 02, 2018, 04:46:20 PM »

I could easily have talked her around from cutting me off FB. I could have told her I was hurt and said how much I’d missed her but I am simply outraged that nothing ever changes. I don’t want this loneliness anymore. I don’t want to be her victim.

What changes do you want?
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« Reply #40 on: July 02, 2018, 05:47:44 PM »

The changes I want are not to let her live in my head rent free!

For me the saddest part of this whole sorry mess is that I thought I knew her. When we were together she seemed loving and gentle and into me. I mistook that for love.

I find I know as little about her now as I did 16 years ago. She is as much a mystery and enigma now as she was back then.

Instead of second guessing her thoughts and emotional life it is better to judge on actions. In 2002 I judged her on her actions and walked away. In 2012-2018 I judged her on what I thought was going on in her head.
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« Reply #41 on: July 02, 2018, 05:54:53 PM »

If you judge her on her actions for 2017-2018, where are you?
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« Reply #42 on: July 02, 2018, 06:06:33 PM »

Dear RF-

There you have it!  I have said so many times, I would almost watch the words of my lover tumble out of his mouth and scatter on the floor.  So many promises... .When the words are empty and the actions are cruel or hollow, what have we left?

I must also say, we practically lived together for 4.5 years and I fear I know as little about his truth now as the day we met.  That scares me to no end.  I am the fool.

Gems
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« Reply #43 on: July 02, 2018, 06:31:08 PM »

I suppose what I mean is when I initially met up with her in 2012 and discovered that nothing had changed in her life that should have been a big red flag. I just didn’t know what she really wanted. Had I realised she was looking for diversion round two I might have stopped the fantasy dead in it’s tracks. I behaved appallingly towards my wife, I realise that and it is part of the moral corruption in my life, that I allowed myself to do it. I justified it as I deserved some passion. It was wrong and unfair but when the ex came back into my life the fantasy then became: ‘This is a the real love of my life. I’ve made a mistake getting married. Do I have the courage to fix it?’

The 8 year gap in between the r/s had made me forget how awful I felt emotionally at her hands. Plus, I believed that she was going to change her circumstances because she seemed different, more sane and most of all, empathic. It was simply love-bombing 2.

I am glad I am beginning to feel real guilt and empathy for how I have behaved towards my wife. My ex sponsor in AA ended our friendship because he didn’t see how my behaviour was commensurate with a ‘spiritual programme.’ I felt no guilt whatsoever. Perhaps that is my own disorder?
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« Reply #44 on: July 02, 2018, 06:38:41 PM »

Gems,

You’re not a fool. We would all go to the ends of the earth for love. I believe most of us on here are emotionally vulnerable romantics. Otherwise why would we get so embroiled? Perhaps we are too empathic (well not me) or feel emotions more strongly than other so called nons. Or, as I now think in my case, my emotions have always had the volume turned up to high, which suggests some kind of BPD traits going on without the full on disorder. I’ve never had identity issues or recurrent suicidal behaviours or paranoia but I’ve had degrees of everything else, the biggest of which is abandonment. So here I am, drawn to my emotional equal... .
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« Reply #45 on: July 02, 2018, 07:34:55 PM »

Excerpt
I believe most of us on here are emotionally vulnerable romantics. Otherwise why would we get so embroiled?

I got embroiled, I think, because I inherited a distorted concept of love - what it is, how it feels, what you need to do to get it - from a narcissistic parent. 
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« Reply #46 on: July 02, 2018, 10:32:50 PM »

Whew RF, and everyone who has contributed to this thread - what an emotional interaction this has been.  Not sure about the rest of you, but this has caused me to look (again) at my own situation.  The pain and sadness of it.  My decision to end it, to let it slip away and what, how much it took to get me to that point.  It was so difficult to let him go. 

But in the end, there was so little left to love.  I couldn't make excuses anymore for his behavior.  I stopped believing my own excuses.  Because I was so weak when I had to end it, I never told him it was over.  I simply let it silently slip away after another of his rages.  But this time I didn't let him come back.

I had to ignore most of his attempts at contact.  I have not seen his face or heard his voice since 2/16/2018.  But I still wake up in drenched nightmares of him screaming at me.  I am so lonely in this place.  And I know with a phone call or a text I could bring him back in.  But why?  That IS the question... .WHY?

Just something to think about.

Warmly,
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« Reply #47 on: July 03, 2018, 06:23:37 AM »


I am glad I am beginning to feel real guilt and empathy for how I have behaved towards my wife. My ex sponsor in AA ended our friendship because he didn’t see how my behaviour was commensurate with a ‘spiritual programme.’ I felt no guilt whatsoever. Perhaps that is my own disorder?

Hey RF... .I'm encouraged that you are "feeling" new things towards your wife.  Don't force that or stop it... just let it kinda happen.

The actions and deliberate conversations about your relationship I would "force" (encourage is likely better word).  Your feelings will catch up.

As for others "criticizing" your feelings or kicking you out of programs because of your feelings... .  I would encourage you to resist buying into their view. 

Perhaps it is true your feelings "move at a different pace" than others.  Don't apologize for being you.  You had no guilt before and now you do.  So feelings are there and seem to be working... and are working at RFs own pace. 

 Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)  Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)  Lots of introspection going on in RF's world... .keep it up.  Be kind to yourself!
FF
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« Reply #48 on: July 03, 2018, 07:54:13 AM »

FF,

Thanks for the encouragement. I’m comfortable with where I’m at in the world and none of what I’ve written is from a perspective of beating myself up, but more from trying to understand my own behaviour.

I think the answer regarding why I felt no guilt is probably more straightforward than I have made it in all my posts since I’ve been on here. It is basically I wanted my ex and I was going to have her and nothing was going to stop me. I can dress it up in psychobabble as much as I want but when you come down to it, I was willing to risk my non-sexual r/s for passion with a gorgeous, sexy woman. I probably didn’t feel guilt because I didn’t go back home and have sex with my wife. There were no repercussions and no chance of getting caught or putting my wife’s health at risk. As distasteful as all that sounds I think it is the truth.

Perhaps I’m only feeling guilty now because I feel like I should. I do feel that I’ve been unfair on my wife but what else am I supposed to do with my sexuality. This is now the pertinent question, I guess.

Gems,
 
It sounds to me that you put up with as much of his BPDish behaviour for as long as you could tolerate and then you could take no more. I feel exactly the same and empathise with your feelings. The affairs of the heart are what make us all tick and having a wonderful love is a lovely gift. If you’re anything like me, you probably wanted it to last forever but the price became too high. We have to put boundaries in place to save our sanity. Damaged people can take us down without even knowing they are doing it. Stick with the caring people.

RF
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« Reply #49 on: July 03, 2018, 08:35:09 AM »

If you think about it RF, what we dont know cant hurt us.

If I wouldnt have had the "love you, love you, love you" on loop from my ex, until the day it went 180 change against me, she didnt need to let me know she had cheated on me - I wouldnt have known, wouldnt have had to confront the heavy emotions of betrayal, hurt, disappointment.

You were in the affair for a long time, you got a lot of advantages, maybe in some way it saved your marriage - if you look it at from that side.
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« Reply #50 on: July 04, 2018, 05:02:33 AM »

Hi Cromwell,

I can’t look at it like that right now. It just feels like betrayal from start to finish. I’ve said on here that I felt we had a pact of love and trust between us. Ironic in the face of the betrayal of our spouses, I know, but I felt that pact existed. It was an illusion and I should have seen who she really is as a person. It was pretty clear. Why am I surprised that a woman who is cheating on her husband was prone to mendacity and being untrustworthy?

That is perhaps the crux of the situation. A flawed idea of who she was and what our r/s was from the beginning. I tried to make it about what I wanted rather than who she really was. In my fantasy I was the single man from 2002 hoping his fairytale Goddess would come back and confess undying love. The reality is that she was always married and unavailable from start to finish and in Phase two of the r/s, I was married and unavailable and should not have engaged with her.

I think ultimately it has affected me so deeply because it was really all about rejection and abandonment. I was trying to undo that rejection I felt from 2002 and win my love over. Romantic Fool indeed.
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« Reply #51 on: July 04, 2018, 05:41:04 AM »

I am glad I am beginning to feel real guilt and empathy for how I have behaved towards my wife. My ex sponsor in AA ended our friendship because he didn’t see how my behaviour was commensurate with a ‘spiritual programme.’ I felt no guilt whatsoever. Perhaps that is my own disorder?

You say a lot in this passing paragraph. I'm re-posting it to reflect back on.

We don't judge you here. Yes, a few people over the year have taken some shots at your (an you handled them well), but that is not our role in your life.

That said, there are some very deep character issues at stake here and for most of your membership we have glossed over them.

You are pretty fast to impugn her character. You let us know that you have some guilt on some level. What I don't see is a man embracing an opportunity to rehabilitate himself in his own eyes.

Rehabilitate himself... .
in his own eyes.

You have lived a life of pathological lying for a decade. Your partner is a pathological liar. This whole affair world is so corrupt that the people around you in real life would wake away from you if they knew. You've said that.

You have a chance right now to seek a higher level of character. Be a better man. Why not embrace this? Why not rise to a new level in life.

As affairs go, this one didn't really have any mediating factors. Its one thing to have a short affair in a turbulent time and learn a lesson. It one thing to have an affair in a extended period of isolation (like military service). It one thing to be in an affair as a marriage crashes and burns. It another to be in something like this.

Hang with me. It's not a judgement. I promise you.

You now have a clear pathway to leaving this dark cloud behind you. Does that not invigorate you? (honest question) It's one thing to feel loss and guilt - but there  is a flip side to these negative feelings - a significant life win.

How motivating is that?  Are you in a different place now than when your sponsor dropped you, or are you in the same place?

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« Reply #52 on: July 04, 2018, 05:54:57 PM »

Excerpt
You now have a clear pathway to leaving this dark cloud behind you. Does that not invigorate you? (honest question) It's one thing to feel loss and guilt - but there  is a flip side to these negative feelings - a significant life win.

How motivating is that?  Are you in a different place now than when your sponsor dropped you, or are you in the same place?

I am glad we are talking about this. Now that I have a little distance from my pain, I am in a much better position to answer these questions truthfully.

I want to reveal something that you probably already know. I don't really suffer from guilt around the affair. I want to - there are flickers from time to time. But in all honesty, it is hardly there at all.

My former sponsor in AA suggested to me that perhaps I was psychopathic in nature. He spent years trying to tell me that I did feel guilty around the affair, but I was concealing it. I told him that I felt no guilt whatsoever. He couldn't cope with that and walked away. We have reconnected now as friends but we do not discuss my personal life.

I care about my wife very much. We have a lovely, warm r/s at the moment, though we both have our abandonment issues and I know a little about mine. She is less aware of her behaviours and it can make her behave in self-centred ways and become judgemental towards me. However, nothing like the ex and I can cope with my wife's idiosyncrasies.

It could be that perhaps I don't feel guilty because the affair was never discovered. My wife is not angry at the betrayal because she doesn't know about it and therefore there is no price to be paid. I suspect if I could see pain and suffering in her that would trigger my guilt big time. I don't think I am psychopathic. I have empathy, I feel emotions very strongly.

In my teens and 20's I never cheated on anybody. I was a serial monogamist and often had my heart handed to me on a silver platter. My mother was a strong influence in my life and demanded gestures of love from my dad and often complained that none of us cared enough about her. She often wanted trinkets of love from my dad to prove his love. She gave me an idea of love that no other woman in my life has ever displayed. Most of my mother's demands were all about her. Looking back, she may have had NPD traits. I don't want to diagnose her as I am not a doctor. But my idea of love was all or nothing. Black or white. Total devotion or the other person is not worthy.

When I started drinking heavily and became established in my profession, I became a lothario, or at least tried to. I never really had the looks or body to carry it off, but I did ok. In my early thirties a very beautiful woman became fixated on me and I found her controlling nature intolerable. I went away to work alot and then began cheating with other women. I then ended the r/s and took up with one of the women i cheated on her with, promptly regretted it and tried to get my ex gf back. She was already with another man and had, in fact, become pregnant by this other man. I stuck with the new gf but spent all of my time regretting what happened with the ex. This became the pattern for many of my relationships: Attachment, engulfment, regret. Attachment, engulfment, regret. The regret was always the strongest feeling of all, because it encompassed so much pain and in every case a strong fantasy of how this person was the answer to my life's quest for love and was going to save me.

That kind of co-dependency has largely receded into the past - or at least I thought it had. I can now see I have been playing the same pattern out with the ex over a very long period of time. It's like these emotions have replaced my old healthier emotions that I used to feel about my lovers ie excitement at a new r/s, desire to spend time with them and conduct a loving r/s. In later life it became me chasing women who had rejected me and then when they came on too strong I ran away. I know this phenomenon as love addiction. You may think it shows some kind of personality disorder. I have no idea. All I know is that it has caused me so much pain over the years. I even started repeating this cycle of behaviour with my various agents. I would spend a few years with them, something would happen and I would move on in emotion and then try and get back with them. However, in business, as in love, this does not play well because people become angry and feel betrayed. It has affected my business life as much as my love life. I am trying not to do it. I have no idea why I do. I would really like to know what the hell is wrong with me.
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« Reply #53 on: July 04, 2018, 06:05:12 PM »

In answer to your question about whether I want to embrace a better way of life: yes I do, very much. It was how I always was, the loyal, loving and trustworthy man. I have become morally corrupted. I would like to be the person I consider that I really am. Before I can do that, I have to figure out exactly where the schizm in my character lies and why it occurred for so long. What is it in my life and background that has allowed me to become so oblivious or wreckless to the danger of hurting my partners? I truly don't understand how it happened.
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« Reply #54 on: July 05, 2018, 04:57:52 AM »

Sunfl0wer,

To finally address your much earlier question:

Excerpt
I wonder how your outlook and current emotional state would shift if... .

If you held in your mind the version of her that is a liar... .
Alongside the version of her where you had an amazing and wonderful, and irreplacable connection.

Can you see these two concepts sitting side by side?

Fyi... .I in no way at all doubt any of your reality.  (Believing that could take trust... .and I’m no easier to trust than any other internet stranger here I suppose.)
Just probing to see how you can shift in your own mind. 
You seem to “toggle” from one reality to another.
What would happen if realities merged a wee?
How painful is that?

How painful is it for you to be both aware that you two shared something wonderful and magnificent AND very much REAL... .
AND... .she lied to you.

Can you hold those ideas in your head together?

(That is the grief I was trying to get to.  cool)

It is very hard at the moment to hold two conflicting concepts regarding my ex because my anger wants to paint her black. By doing this it justifies my sense of betrayal and in some seismic way, allows me to illustrate the potency and earth-shattering nature of such a great love.

So I can see perhaps I am dramatising the emotions and I am blocking any sense of the good part of the r/s. Yes, there was good. It is very painful to recount but here is the good about her:

I believe this woman is very special. I believe that despite her disorder she is an exceptional person and wants to be a caring human being. I don't think people become counsellors just to deal with their own pathology and so there must be a deep empathy in her that she wants to help others. I have rarely seen this side of her. It's like because she doesn't see me as suicidal, I am irrelevant. It is this dismissal and disregard for my feelings that outrages me the most, especially when she seems to have boundless empathy for people on the end of the phone.

She is beautiful and elegant and has an ironic wit. There is a deep disturbance within her that is often displayed when we are together, in the form of tears and need for my embrace. I think that emotional connection is what has kept me hooked for so long.

We seem to share many interests, or rather I share hers, rather than her sharing mine. She interests and excites me like few women ever have. Am I drawn to the damage or the real person? She seems to trigger the rescuer in me and I am a sucker for a damsel in distress... .
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« Reply #55 on: July 05, 2018, 12:32:49 PM »

In answer to your question about whether I want to embrace a better way of life: yes I do, very much. It was how I always was, the loyal, loving and trustworthy man. I have become morally corrupted. I would like to be the person I consider that I really am. Before I can do that, I have to figure out exactly where the schizm in my character lies and why it occurred for so long. What is it in my life and background that has allowed me to become so oblivious or wreckless to the danger of hurting my partners? I truly don't understand how it happened.

RomanticFool,
I don't know if this will help, but I can share some of my journey of understanding/reconciling my willingness to "be oblivious or wreckless to the danger of hurting my partner".  

You may remember my story, but to recap, I had an affair after 19 years of marriage to my dBPDxh.  The emotional affair lasted probably 6 months and the physical affair only lasted 6 weeks.  I ended the affair, confessed to my dBPDxh and spent about 2 years doing everything in my power to repair my marriage.  Our divorce this year had nothing to do with my affair from my point of view (other than my affair and recovery time opening my eyes to the damage in my marriage that had been present all along).  

What I probably haven't detailed before is that I did not WANT to end my affair.  I had started suffering from panic attacks and I felt like God was forcing my hand.  I wanted to continue in the relationship with my affair partner as long as I could, but I was falling apart mentally, emotionally, and physically.  I was pretty open with some of the friends that supported me in the days after I ended my affair that I didn't feel guilty.  That's when I started actively working to understand the ugliness of what I had done.  That's not a task for the faint of heart, let me assure you.  

Ultimately I had to face the selfishness and self-deception that I used to justify my choices.  I discarded the premise that any abuse or neglect on the part of our spouses "deserved" a response of betrayal on our parts.
 I recognized that I had full choice in the matter and, therefore, full responsibility.  While this understanding is incredibly empowering from the standpoint of knowing that I can CHOOSE to never engage in an affair again and has given me the strength to not seek out my affair partner again, it also means that I have had to wrestle with what my choices say about who I was and who I am.  

My therapist and I argue a bit about the degree to which my experience with dBPDxh influenced the decisions that led to my affair.  I tend to take full ownership of those decisions, and can see the "outs" I had that would have allowed me to avoid the damage I caused to my family, my affair partner's family, and to my own self.  My therapist is a bit more gracious and, while she doesn't justify my actions, has made statements about how dBPDxh's treatment of me left me ripe for an affair.  

I am at peace with the knowledge that it was BeagleGirl who made those choices (and who is responsible for not making those choices in the future) and that BeagleGirl would have been just as capable of making those same choices in an alternate universe where I had been married to a loving man.  That capacity is a part of me, but it isn't me, if that makes any sense.  

If anything in my story catches your thoughts and you want more details about my journey, please feel free to ask.  I have become pretty familiar with the lies I told myself and the ways I twisted my selfish motives to make them appear altruistic.  Since that discovery was so helpful for me, I would be happy to explore them with you.

BG
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« Reply #56 on: July 05, 2018, 12:54:38 PM »


BG and RF,

With some "trepidation" I share my view on affairs and "affair prevention".  BG... I'm not arguing with you but I am pushing you towards your T's position... a bit.

IMO:  Part of being married is physical and emotional intimacy.  Human beings can only handle so much.  Use the analogy of eating, once your full... .another hot steaming steak filet just doesn't seem as attractive.
 
Well... I try to extend that out.

If my wife and I are keeping each other "full"... .there just isn't room for more.  Certainly there are times when "the waiter" is slow and bringing another serving... .but we don't leave for another restaurant.

But... what do you do when the waiter tells you there is no more... that you are stupid for wanting more... .that its your fault... .

BG... be kind to yourself.  I worry you "own that" too much.   


Anyway... .for RF... .I suspect you understand there will be uncomfortable times of reflection.  I encourage you to embrace them, yet find a way to be kind to yourself.  It's a balancing act.

Best to you!

FF

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« Reply #57 on: July 06, 2018, 04:17:48 PM »

Hi Beagle Girl,

Feel free to share your experience. It all helps. I am very much missing talking to my ex but I know that if I allow her to keep treating me badly it will affect my self-esteem. I still feel lighter and I also think that if she is fine with cutting me off FB after not seeing her for 17 months then that just illustrates the poor situation I allowed myself to accept. I am sad that I don’t talk to her anymore but feel empowered by my stance of drawing a clear boundary in this situation.

I have also been thinking today that even though she was ‘honest’ about coming to London with her family... .so what? Am I expected to like the fact that she is playing happy families while I am once again marginalised? The fact that she is so solid with her family is a reason in itself to walk away and I wish I had done that years ago and said the following:

Excerpt
I care more for you than I have for any other woman. However, you are still in love with your husband and I am married. As much as it pains me to walk away from somebody I adore, history has shown that you are happy to stay in your marriage and I must now focus on my own marriage. I can’t do that if all I am thinking about is you. Since you have taken a decision to stay in your marriage I must now walk away in order to save mine. I wish you peace and happiness.
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« Reply #58 on: July 07, 2018, 10:08:49 AM »

Staff only

This thread has reached its post limit and has been locked. Please feel free to continue to the discussion in another thread.
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